Fire Safety Tips for Your Home

Fire Safety For Older Americans

by National S.A.F.E. Home Foundation

Senior citizens are one of the two highest risk groups for death and injuries due to residential fires. Residential fires kill more than 1,300 older Americans each year. The tragedy of this situation is that, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, 75% of the older Americans who perished in fires did not have working smoke alarms in their home. In many cases it was found that smoke alarms were inoperable due to dead or missing batteries.

If you are age 65 or older, you are your own best insurance against fire and burn injuries. The following are some free or inexpensive tips designed to help you protect yourself from becoming a fire victim.
*Make sure you have at least one working smoke alarm on each level of your home. They should be tested once a month and the battery should be changed annually.
*Have an escape plan. Know two ways out of every room, in case a fire or smoke blocks one way out.
*You should never smoke in bed or lying down, especially if you are on medication that increases drowsiness.
*Make sure your stove is clean and free of grease build-up.
*Keep flammables, such as towels, pot holders, and loose clothing away from the oven. If you find loose clothing more comfortable get yourself a tighter fitting smock with an interesting motif that you like to wear over loose clothes when working in the kitchen.
*Turn pot handles away from the front of the stove so they won't be knocked off or pulled down.
*If you are called away from the kitchen during food preparation, turn all burners off.
*If you have a stove fire, put a lid on it, turn off the heat and let it cool.
*You should have your home heating system checked annually by a qualified professional.
*If you use portable electric or kerosene heaters, make sure they have at least 3 feet of clearance around them while in operation and always follow manufacture's instructions for use.

Since 1990, The National S.A.F.E. (Smoke Alarms For Every) Home Foundation, Inc. has helped implement fire prevention and smoke alarm giveaway programs in hundreds of communities to help fire educators teach the importance of fire safety to various groups, including Senior Citizens. The Foundation works with a wide variety of groups such as Senior Citizens Centers, Senior Clubs, church organizations, neighborhood associations, Meals on Wheels, and Visiting Nurses Associations to establish smoke alarm giveaway programs for seniors in urban and rural communities.

The National S.A.F.E. Home Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity, dedicated to reducing the number of preventable deaths and injuries due to residential fires. The Foundation provides managerial support, guidance in developing and implementing smoke alarm giveaway programs, assistance in acquiring corporate contributions, networking and fundraising ideas, and discounted smoke alarms. For more information, call 1-800-877-1250 or e-mail